The effects of counterfeits on pharmaceutical distribution and retailing in Mombasa County, Kenya
Counterfeiting is unauthorised imitative production of products or a service without authority from the owner’s which are protected by intellectual property rights in order to make profits. Counterfeit medicines are part of the broader phenomenon of substandard pharmaceuticals – medicines manufactured below established standards of quality and therefore dangerous to patients’ health and ineffective for the treatment of diseases. The difference is that counterfeits are deliberately and fraudulently mislabelled with respect to identity or source. The objectives of this study was to determine the effect of counterfeit on the pharmaceutical distribution and retailing in Mombasa County and the roles of pharmaceutical distributors and retailers in combating counterfeit. The findings from the study were that counterfeits had an effect in pharmaceutical distribution and retailing and it was noted that the least effect of counterfeit drugs was that they can lead to death of patients. The effects that counterfeit lead to loss of tax to the government and that they affected investors investments were rated above average. Counterfeits affect sales, causes loss of goodwill of the brand, innovation is affected and that the image of the pharmacy is affected were rated highly by most of the respondents. On average the pharmacist played the role of ensuring that the patients are aware of counterfeit drugs. They also made sure that the patients were aware of anti-counterfeiting strategies, the discussed the patient medication first before dispensing were highly rated. The respondents also indicated that they have continuous education, resources affect identification of counterfeit drugs and that technology is a challenge to branded products.